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new-logo25W. R. McAfee

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On April 7, 2001, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ignored state and federal law in the name of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and stopped water to more than 200,000 acres and some 1,400 canal-irrigated family farms near Klamath Falls, Oregon, plunging the community toward bankruptcy and devastating families.
Why? Because the bureau said two species of bottom-feeding suckerfish and a Coho salmon, in a reservoir the farmers depended upon might be “affected” if water was released during the current drought.

35600_1thmThe ESA had already been used to cut off water to a group of California farmers, causing their crops to dry up.
In Colorado, the forest service threatened another agricultural operation with a by-pass flow that would have resulted in an 80-percent loss of the dry-year water supply from a key reservoir, with a direct economic loss of between $5 and $17 million.
They also attempted to impose a “by-pass flow” that would have taken some 50 percent of the dry-year water supply provided from a Colorado municipal water storage facility.

In Idaho, a federal permittee was told he would have to bypass water to protect aquatic species or obtain an alternate source of water at a cost of $120,000.
In Arizona, where state law requires water rights be held by the person making the beneficial use of the water, the regional forester had demanded that water rights owned by grazing permittees be transferred to the feds – rights long established under state law for livestock purposes.

Federal agencies—at the direction of the EPA—are using the ESA nationwide to try and override established water rights, state laws, and the McCarran Act.
Under the Water Rights Act of 1952 (McCarran Amendment) it’s illegal for anyone – federal agency or citizen, without exception – to force water bypasses or withhold water along natural flowing streams, rivers, and their tributaries. More